Thoughts on Avalanches and Lemons.

For all my patient, devoted, amazing students and friends, I want to share why my courses and workshops have been lightly and a bit erratically scheduled over the past two years.

When life gives you Avalanches, dig your way out.

 When life gives you Earthquakes, climb on top of the rubble.

 When life gives you Hurricanes, rebuild with your community.

 When life gives you a head smacking curve ball, find a new pitcher.

 When life gives you lemons….

 I was struck by a metaphoric Avalanche. First off, let me say that I am healthy and “health is wealth.” Anyone with a serious illness is being struck by a much larger Avalanche than I. My prayers are with you.

 The thundering crush of ice that knocked me off my feet and buried me 6 feet under came when my husband of 35 years, and best friend of 40, came home one day and simply said, “I don’t know if I love you and I need to move out to decide.” (I paraphrase, but not much).

I’ll drop the Avalanche analogy here as we can sometimes see snow and ice begin to move down a mountain or even predict and prepare for the blow. Instead I’ll shift to the Earthquake analogy. Size 10 on the Richter scale. NO ONE SAW THIS COMING. Rarely an argument in 35 years of marriage. The shock reverberates in my bones to this day. Friends and family have called weeks and months later (they are still calling) feeling the same aftershocks of disbelief. The words ‘indelible mark’ apply. The curve ball struck the batter’s heart. Luckily it’s still beating.

When your world is turned upside down, you find your right-side-up friends. In upside-down times, friends and family are salvation. I have dug my way out, climbed on top of the rubble and rebuilt with my community.

You, dear students and patrons, have ALL been part of that community. Your support and enthusiasm of my work and teachings have been a golden light on my path. I have truly felt your love from all corners of the world. My deep gratitude to each and every one of you is, honestly, indescribable. My wish is that you feel at this moment a warm embrace of “Thank You” from me!

 To my ‘right-side-up’ friends and family around the world – you know who you are – I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your unwavering , unconditional love and tireless listening. And for helping me to know that I’m not crazy. In the middle of an Avalanche one does not always know which way is up.

THERE IS ALWAYS A BIGGER PICTURE.

That is my focus daily. My life has already expanded in unpredictable and marvelous ways. Look at what life looks like on top of the rubble:

1.     I now own a beautiful house in stunning La Quinta California (near Palm Springs), next to a best right-side-up friend from Kindergarten.

2.     La Quinta is conveniently located near Los Angeles, San Diego, and Scottsdale Arizona. All of these are great places to teach workshops.

3.     Teaching opportunities have been offered in Mexico, Spain, Australia, South Africa and throughout the U.S. Whew! My head swims.

4.     I’ve already taught one workshop just minutes from my new house at a fantastic location. YOU WANT to visit the desert! It’s beautiful here!!

5.     I have multiple Ecourses planned for the future for YOU!

6.     I already have a tribe of right-side-up friends in the desert who welcomed me with open arms and to whom I am forever grateful.

7.     You gotta see my view from the top of this rubble. Seriously. I can’t wait to see how the colors, light and surroundings influence my work.

8.     I can cook whatever I want for dinner.

9.     Some of the world’s best music, tennis and golf is minutes away, AND I’m only 2.5 hours away from The Broad.

10.  Lemons. Citrus is abundant and often free in the desert. So I literally get to make free lemonade. The irony is not lost on me. 

Again, for all my wonderful current and future students, I thank you for your patience in my somewhat uneven scheduling of current Ecourses and delayed release of “Answers In Abstraction.” I ask you to bear with me for a bit longer as I reorganize my life, rebuilding the rubble. I promise that the Lemonade I create for you will be worth the wait.

 Love, Hugs, and for all the artists…Keep on Painting!

 ~Melinda

PS. My deepest gratitude for indulging me with my multitude of mixed metaphors.